I mean, he was elected in a democratic way even though few people saw it coming. Maybe Hillary Clinton was a better candidate, but he is the president now. Why these protests, then?

P.S. Before you judge, please note that the OP is not American, and is just curious.



ANSWER

I think protests have value only if they have a goal. If they are just lashing out in anger, then I donít respect them. When I was arrested in the UC Berkeley Free Speech Movement, we knew precisely what we wanted; there was a very specific list of actions that would have ended the protest. But protests against the election of Donald Trump seem like they are protests against democracy. As readers of Quora know, I was strongly opposed to his election. But he was elected, and that is what democracy is, and we have to accept it and work with it as best we can.

It is also possible that such protests have an effect opposite to that intended, that the protest convinces other Americans that the opponents of Trump are not thoughtful people, but people who do not accept the US political process. That impression, if given, can strengthen the Trump supporters and increase their numbers.

I feel similarly when people protest a jury trial because they didnít like the verdict. They are making the assumption that they know the case better than do the jurors, jurors who just spent (typically) weeks studying nothing else. Protest a jury verdict and you are protesting a key foundation of our constitution, of our system of justice designed specifically to avoid mob rule. I do not respect such protests.

But if you are protesting an action of a government official (as I did when I protested the invasion of Cambodia, again back in the days when I was a student) with a real goal in mind (withdraw! and never do that again!) then the protest is valid; it has a point; it is a way of getting attention of someone who can actually do something.

I understand the frustration that leads some people to simply lash out. I donít protest any more, I think in large part because I do have the ear of important people. I can accomplish a lot more by writing OpEd pieces for the New York Times or the Wall St. Journal (as I have) than by being part of a protest. But the effective protests are ones in which the public official can tell what the goal is, can tell what he/she needs to do to satisfy the protesters. Do the anti-Trump protesters expect that there is someone who can undo the election? Instead of protesting, they need to get politically engaged to make sure that Trumpís term is 4 years, not 8.


Source: https://www.quora.com/Are-protests-a...ency-justified